A Great Reminder About the Power of Inclusivity — From the Teacher Who Carried a 10-Year-Old Student on His Back

A little bit of empathy goes a long way.

Courtesy of "Team Ryan" on Facebook
Courtesy of "Team Ryan" on Facebook

Ryan King, a 10-year-old girl with spina bifida, was going to have to miss her class field trip — a hike through the Falls of The Ohio State Park. But that all changed when a teacher at her elementary school stepped in with an act of kindness that left everyone on the internet smiling this week. Jim Freeman offered to carry the fourth-grader, who uses a wheelchair, on his back. 

Being left out never feels good, and that’s true for anyone of any age: “We’ve had field trips before where we weren’t able to go and the school gives us alternate education days. But when she goes back to school, her peers and classmates are all talking about the field trip, so she doesn’t have the same experience,” Ryan’s mother, Shelly King, told CNN

Courtesy of “Team Ryan” Facebook

Amazing things happen when we go out of our way to widen our circle and bring new people into our fold. Freeman’s selfless act made a huge impact on Ryan, her family, and all the classmates who got to enjoy Ryan’s company that day. Leaving her out, on the other hand, would have deprived everyone.

In the workplace, seeking out people you don’t normally interact with and connecting with them has the power to shift your perspective and spark new ideas. So if you take one Microstep this week to be more inclusive, make it your goal to have a conversation with a colleague you don’t normally talk to. Piggyback not required. 

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